Steyn Raina Sunrisers CSK
Sunrisers Hyderabad fast bowler Dale Steyn and CSK batsman Suresh Raina during their CLT20 encounter in Ranchi, September 27Vipin Pawar/CLT20/SPORTZPICS

Dale Steyn has not been at his best in this year's Champions League T20. That now all-too familiar tear towards the pitch before unleashing one deadly delivery after another has just not materialised.

However, on Thursday night in Ranchi in the game between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, when bowlers were being smashed into lands previously not seen, the South African pacer came through unscathed.

With figures of 4-0-23-2, Steyn was the most economical bowler in a match which saw nearly 400 runs scored in 40 overs.

To put his performance into perspective, Thisara Perera, Steyn's Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate, went for 11 more runs in a single over than the South African tyro conceded in the entire match.

Not too bad, but then the Sunrisers did not come away with a win, even if they gave it a real go, and that at the end of the day is all that matters.

"You want to win the game at the end of the day -- that is the main thing," Steyn told CLT20's official website. "I bowled nicely tonight. I thought I took my time and I was a bit clearer on my plans. Definitely with the dew around, I put a lot more thought in my bowling."

Despite losing the match, Steyn, though, did take comfort from the fact that the Sunrisers managed to get up to 190, while chasing a daunting total of 202.

"We got to 190 at the end of it, falling just 12 short," he added. "This is how you would want to lose a game. It would have been disappointing had we ended on 150/7 or thrown the game away or something.

"But we fought all the way to the end and that shows the kind of character and what this side is made of. We may have one or two areas to work on with the ball, but we came out beautifully tonight (Thursday) with the bat."

Cricket can be a cruel game, there is no doubt about that. One match you could be standing up at the presentation area waiting to pose for photographs and give an interview with a beaming smile after being named the (insert preferred sponsor name here) man of the match.

The next, you could be looking at ways to get your hands on a spade to dig a deep hole to hide in.

That is probably how Perera felt on Thursday. He was in supreme form against Trinidad & Tobago, shining with both the ball and the bat, but against CSK, the high was brought down abruptly by that big wielding sword of M.S. Dhoni, whose 19-ball 63 was a sight to behold.

"It happens and there is nothing you can do," Steyn said. "You do not expect guys to come out here and bowl badly, we always plan to do the best and you kind of just have to roll with the punches.

"Perera was probably our best death-over bowler in the last game in Mohali (against T&T), where I went for 41 that day. And today (Thursday) I ended up being the most economical. Maybe it just wasn't Perera's day today. But that is the way it goes you know -- one day you are the hero and the next day you are a zero." 

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